PLC 2017 to honor Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen

The Pacific Life Community (PLC) will hold its annual retreat March 5-7, 2017 at the Pilgrim Firs retreat facility in Port Orchard, WA [ website at ].

This year’s theme is “The Passion of Resistance” — encompassing both the joy and pain that comes from struggling against the status quo — and will feature a retrospective on the remarkable life work of Raymond G. Hunthausen, archbishop of Seattle from 1975-1981.  A principled peacemaker of profound integrity, Archbishop Hunthausen gained national attention when he became the first US bishop to urge tax resistance as a way to oppose the nuclear weapons buildup.  Archbishop Hunthausen participated in numerous nuclear resistance activities at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in the early eighties, sometimes turning up in ordinary clothing and identifying himself simply as “Ray.”

Raymond G. "Dutch" Hunthausen, GZ co-founder Jim Douglass; Hunthausen's sister Edna; GZ co-founder Shelley Douglass; and brother Jack Hunthausen in Helena, Montana, November 20160

Raymond G. “Dutch” Hunthausen, GZ co-founder Jim Douglass; Hunthausen’s sister Edna; GZ co-founder Shelley Douglass; and brother Jack Hunthausen in Helena, Montana, November 20160

Sisters Chauncey Boyle and Kathleen Pruitt, of the Seattle Archdiocese — both of whom were longtime associates of Archbishop Hunthausen — will co-deliver the keynote address on Archbishop Hunthausen’s remarkable contributions to his community and to a peaceful, nuclear-free world.  An interactive discussion will follow with the aim of helping activists and peacemakers draw important lessons from the life example set by Archbishop Hunthausen.

In preparation for the discussion PLC attendees are asked to read “A Still and Quiet Conscience:  The Archbishop who Challenged a Pope, a President, and a Church” by John A. McCoy, available either at libraries or for purchase online.  Archbishop Hunthausen, who currently lives at a retirement home in Helena, Montana, will not be able to join us, but there will be an opportunity to send him a message of greetings and gratitude.

An action and Mass/vigil is planned at the Bangor Naval Base – home to eight Trident nuclear submarines – during the retreat weekend.  Further details including a full agenda will be provided upon receipt of an RSVP (please send to both Sue Ablao at and Elizabeth Murray at

The per-person fee is $135, which includes 2 nights’ lodging at Pilgrim Firs and all meals starting with dinner on Sunday, March 5th, through breakfast on Tuesday, March 7th.  Checks should be made out to retreat co-organizer Sue Ablao and mailed to her at:  4040 Dyes Inlet NW  Bremerton, WA  98312.  Any further inquiries may be directed to Sue at or Elizabeth at



Pilgirm Firs is a 120-acre camp/conference center nestled amid old-growth pines with hiking trails, a lake, cozy cabins, and an in-house kitchen staff that accommodates vegetarians and omnivores alike.  Please check the website for more information:

Travel planning:  Please plan to arrive at Pilgrim Firs sometime between 2PM and 4PM on Sunday, March 5th (Dinner will be served at 6 PM that evening).  We are required to be checked out of the Pilgrim Firs facility by noon on Tuesday, March 7th.  For those planning on flying in to SeaTac, one option is to take the Kitsap-Bremerton airport shuttle to Port Orchard ($22 one-way; takes about an hour from the airport – no advance reservation needed).  The Port Orchard shuttle stop is only about a mile from the Pilgrim Firs facility.  We expect to have volunteer drivers for those needing a ride to & from the retreat facility.  More information on the shuttle service here:

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Photos from PLC 2016 at Vandenberg

This gallery contains 49 photos.

Thanks to John Amidon and Felice Cohen-Joppa for sharing their photos of the 2016 Pacific Life Community nonviolent direct action at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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Remember Rongelap; Remember the Lucky Dragon; Remember Bikini

Digging in with Jim

“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”
– Omar Bradley, Late US General
My friend Dress does the cryptoquip,Rivers_anti_Nuke_sign_jh and sometimes they’re very interesting, even spot on, like this one. Today is World Nuclear Disarmament Day, March 1.
March 1 is the anniversary of one of many crimes against humanity executed by my own United States of America. On this date in 1954, the US conducted its largest hydrogen bomb test (about 20 Megatons, 1000 times bigger than the bomb that incinerated Nagasaki). Look up nuclear test Bravo (or Castle-Bravo) in your search engine.
It was from this test that the Bikini bathing suit got its name, after the magnificent Marshall Island atoll that was blown up in the process, the bright light rivaling the sun’s. The…

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To conclude the 2015 gathering of the Pacific Life Community, 80 activists held a colorful and lively demonstration on Monday, March 2 at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California, protesting nuclear weapons work and other weapons for war.

After sharing poetry, litany, dancing and songs, twelve of the protesters spread across the entrance roadway with a 50 foot banner that read “Lockheed Weapons Terrorize the World” to stop traffic going into the weapons plant.


They carried a letter with them that read:

“To All of Us Who Pay Taxes or Work at Lockheed Martin,

“Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest weapons producer. The nuclear missiles that Lockheed Martin designs and builds are a threat to all life on earth. We ask you to evaluate the morality of profit from world-wide death and suffering.

“This is the time to transform Lockheed Martin’s reliance on weapons production into new technologies that help the earth and benefit the common good.”

The group was arrested and charged with blocking traffic. Four of the protesters were released that afternoon, and one later that evening. Seven who refused to sign papers for their release are in jail until they can be seen by a judge.


Those arrested are: Peggy Coleman, Betsy Lamb, Ann Havill, Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM, John Yevtich, Katie Kelso, Susan Crane, Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ, Larry Purcell, Elizabeth Murray, Ed Ehmke and Mary Jane Parrine.

Many of the activists wore a photo of Fr. Bill “Bix” Bichsel, in remembrance of the long-time nuclear resister, Jesuit priest, Catholic Worker and member of the Pacific Life Community (PLC) from Tacoma, Washington who died at home on February 28.


The Pacific Life Community is a network of spiritually motivated U.S. activists from the Pacific Coast and other western states committed to nonviolent action for a nuclear-free future.

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest military contractor. They make the Trident D-5 nuclear missile, a first strike weapon.


Since last summer’s Israeli devastation of the Gaza Strip, California PLC activists have also been educating themselves and the public about Lockheed Martin’s role in supplying Hellfire missiles, Apache Longbow helicopter parts and F-16 jets to Israel, all of which have caused immense civilian casualties and war crimes against the Palestinian people, according to numerous international and Israeli organizations (including the United Nations and B’Tselem).

For more information, visit the Pacific Life Community blog at

This report is posted here:

Photos will be added later to The Nuclear Resister and Pacific Life Community Facebook pages.

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Pacific Life Community 2015 Action Media Alert


March 2, 2015


Anti-nuclear activists plan a colorful demonstration today from 10 a.m. to noon against nuclear weapons work and other military hardware made by Lockheed Martin Corporation.The group is expected to number around 100 people including many who want to present a letter to workers and management and who may attempt to stop traffic from entering the Sunnyvale weapons plant if prevented from doing so. The event will begin at the 5 th and Mathilda light rail station and continue with a march to Lockheed Martin’s (LM) entrance at Java and Mathilda. The action will be punctuated by lively dance and large visuals.

The network known as the Pacific Life Community (PLC) usually focuses on LM’s manufacturing of nuclear weapons, especially the Trident D-5 nuclear missile, a first strike weapon, and the fact that Lockheed is the largest military contractor in the world and the largest single contractor with the United States Government.

Since last summer’s Israeli devastation of the Gaza Strip, the group has also been
educating themselves and the public about LM’s role in supplying Hellfire missiles,
Apache Longbow helicopter parts and F-16 jets to Israel, all of which have caused
immense civilian casualties and war crimes against the Palestinian people according to numerous international, and Israeli organizations including the United Nations and B’Tselem.

Today’s demonstration will be much larger than those held monthly by the south Bay Section of the Pacific Life Community, a network of spiritually motivated anti-nuclear activists from the western United States and the Pacific Rim because of the enlarged focus and because of the presence of out-of-town activists from sister  organizations who are here for the annual retreat. The PLC gathers yearly around March 1 to commemorate the people of Rongelap and the Japanese fishing boat The Lucky Dragon which were knowingly irradiated by nuclear fallout from the largest hydrogen bomb test ever conducted by the United States, the Bravo test which gave the Bikini its name, for the Marshall Island atoll destroyed by the test.

The PLC’s resolve to act against Lockheed is buoyed by the passing on Saturday of one of their most dedicated and inspirational members, Fr. William “Bix” Bischel, SJ of Tacoma, Washington.

For more information, contact Jim Haber at or 415-828-2506 and visit


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Ground Zero holds mock funeral for the Earth at Bangor Trident base

Over sixty people participated in Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s life and legacy on Saturday, January 17, 2015. The event concluded with a vigil and nonviolent direct action at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington.


Under the theme “Building the World House,” the day focused on Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolence and his opposition to war and nuclear weapons. Dr. King’s essay “The World House” may very well be the best summation of Dr. King’s teachings.

While some participants maintained a peaceful vigil at the Main Gate to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Silverdale, Washington on Saturday afternoon, others dressed in black monk’s robes carried a coffin containing a globe representing the earth to the side of the road. People walked up to the casket and placed flowers on it, and then another robed participant recited a eulogy, “Mourning the Death of the Earth after Nuclear Annihilation.” A funeral dirge completed the ceremony.

NOTE: Click the following image to watch the video of Saturday’s action.

When the ceremony was finished participants carried the casket onto the roadway, blocking traffic entering the base. Washington State Patrol officers ordered the resisters to move the coffin out of the roadway. They complied, and carried the coffin to the median where they were detained. All received citations for being in the roadway illegally, and then released.


Those cited were Mary Elder, Seattle, WA; Peter Gallagher, Seattle, WA; Raghav Kaushik, Kirkland, WA; Mona Lee, Seattle, WA; Bernie Meyer, Olympia, WA; Michael Siptroth, Belfair, WA; and Rick Turner, Seattle, Wa;

Following the initial action more protesters entered the roadway and blocked traffic. Gilberto Perez, Bainbridge Island, WA carried a sign calling for no naval base on Jeju Island, Korea. Jonathan Landolfe, Tacoma, WA carried a sign saying “Sea Hawks, Not War Hawks.” Bruce Gagnon, Bath, ME carried a sign saying “Human Needs, NOT WAR$”. All were removed from the roadway by State Patrol and cited for being in the roadway illegally.


Gagnon, the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, gave the keynote address earlier in the day at Ground Zero Center. Gagnon spoke of the unsustainability of the US Navy’s shipbuilding budget, and how “entitlement” programs including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are being defunded in order to fund the newest ships that include a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines. The OHIO Class Replacement Program alone (12 new Trident submarines) will cost an estimated $100 billion.

Members of Ground Zero Center also participated in the Seattle MLK Rally & March on January 19th, carrying a full size inflatable replica of a Trident II D-5 thermonuclear armed missile. Accompanying the missile was a banner with a famous quote by Dr. King: “When scientific power outruns spiritual power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.” Participants handed out leaflets with facts on Trident.


The Trident nuclear weapons system was designed during the height of the Cold War and was predicated on the theory of Strategic Nuclear Deterrence, a doctrine that no longer applies long after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Continued deployment of Trident increases the risk of either accidental or intentional nuclear war, and building a new generation of ballistic missile submarines is increasing global proliferation of nuclear weapons at a time when the nuclear armed powers should be reducing reliance on nuclear weapons and making good faith efforts toward disarmament.

The Trident submarine base at Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, contains the largest concentration of operational nuclear weapons in the US arsenal. Each of the 8 Trident submarines at Bangor carries up to 24 Trident II (D-5) missiles, each capable of being armed with as many as 8 independently targetable thermonuclear warheads. Each nuclear warhead has an explosive force of between 100 and 475 kilotons (up to 30 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb). It has been estimated that by the time the new generation of ballistic missile submarines are put into service, they will represent 70 percent of the nation’s deployed nuclear warheads.


Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action holds three scheduled vigils and actions each year in resistance to Trident and in protest of U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The group is currently engaged in legal actions in Federal court to halt the Navy’s construction of a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor. Ground Zero is also working with other organizations to de-fund the Navy’s plans for the next generation ballistic missile submarine.

For over thirty-seven years Ground Zero has engaged in education, training in nonviolence, community building, resistance against Trident and action toward a world without nuclear weapons.

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PLC Calls Out Lockheed Martin for its support for Israeli War Crimes

This is a late posting from the local, monthly Pacific Life Community action last August at Monthly vigil at Lockheed Martin's Sunnyvale plant in August, 2014 drew attention to the corporation's involvement with Israel, supporting its war crimes with weapons and technology.tLockheed Martin in Sunnyvale. In August, the fourth-Friday, noontime vigil addressed the onslaught on Gaza as well as the usual issue of nuclear weapon delivery systems (notably he Trident D-5 missile) that has long been a focus of the PLC.

Monthly vigil at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale plant in August, 2014 drew attention to the corporation’s involvement with Israel, supporting its war crimes with weapons and technology.

For more images of that month’s action, see Jim Haber’s set of images on Flickr. (Sorry they’re not up on this PLC site already. Thought they were.

As we prepare for this year’s PLC Retreat which will be calling out Lockheed during our gathering in the South Bay February 28 to March 1, I want people to see some of what the local group has been up to as well as the weekly advent vigils that happened in December.

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